Thursday, 21 May 2009


The king of the british newspaper adventure strip heroes is, of course, Garth, whose exploits ran in The Daily Mirror from 1943 to 1997. Certain comic strips tend to remind you of certain people, and Garth always reminds me of my Grandad. The Old Man ( as East End dad's and grandad's are always referred to ) bought The Mirror every day to read over his pint, making Garth this mysterious, exotic strip I only ever got to read once he'd finished with it. And because I never managed to read a whole story in one go, it never seemed to make the slightest bit of sense. I'm still not sure it does.

Garth is kind of a cross between Superman, Conan, Dr. Who & Micheal Moorcock's Eternal Champion. As well as having adventures on alien worlds, Garth has seemingly been around forever, having lived through hundreds of incarnations, and can go back in time, to relive the exploits of his past lives. For instance, here's Garth when he was Lord Richard Carthewan, fighting The Borgia's in 16th century Venice:

And here he is back in the old west, when he was Marshal Tom Barratt, the only law in the mining town of Gopherville:

While back in the swinging '70's, Garth foils an attempted kidnapping in London's glittering West End:

And, finally, here's the big lug fighting for the amusement of his alien captors on the planet of Galba:

Garth had many creative teams, but the most fondly remembered artists to work on the strip were Martin Asbury, and the man he replaced, Frank Bellamy ( who drew all the pages here ).

Considering it's staggering run, and it's popularity, there's not much of Garth in print these days. There were a couple of reprint books in the '70's, and, in the '80's, Titan did 2 books with much the same material, but that's really it for the classic stuff.

Garth has sort of returned, as a new strip by David Seidel & Huw-J is running on The Daily Mirror's website, with a more hoodied & baseball capped Garth, and there is talk of a full- fledged return to The Mirror's comic page, which'd be nice, but I'd still like to see more of Bellamy's & Asbury's run's in print too.


  1. Love GARTH! Was reprinted in THE MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE in America in the '70's and I picked up one of the books you show there at the bottom! Bellamy has long since becaome a favorute artist! There's a cool Bellamy blog at

  2. Always assumed Garth never made it to the US, which makes it even more ridiculous this great strip has never been reprinted. The Falls Gazette sounds like a bit of a treasure trove...

  3. I've got a couple of original Garth dailies by Frank Bellamy. I bought them from an exhibition of his comics and illustration work at Acme comic shop in Brixton about twenty years ago. I did an illustrated essay on him back in art college too, he' always been one of my favourites.
    There's sometimes Garth dailies available from the Book Palace.

  4. Great post! Bellamy's Garth is a stunning body of work; such style and amazing detail. I have that Daily Mirror book. It's amazing that Bellamy's work isn't more available - including his run on Dan Dare

  5. Great blog Pete. It doesn't matter how many times I see FB's stuff, I still get excited!

    To answer Alan's query re books in print. Get over to the Book Palace ( and look for Bellamy. Steve Holland & Geoff West have worked hard and have got to date 2 strips by Bellamy reprinted (Robin Hood & King Arthur) and have announced their third - FB's WWI illos for Look & Learn. BUY THEM and encourage Steve and Geoff to expand reprints further.

    Also Titan are reprinting Dan Dare - search Amazon or again search Book Palace - and no, I do not get commission.

  6. Good info, Norman, thanks for that. Maybe some reprinted Garth is possible after all.

  7. Thanks for the tip, Norman. Great news!

  8. Penguin India have got plans to reprint ALL of the classic Garth strips as part of their Retro Revival Series in a in a collectible 5-volume hardback graphic novel box set.
    According to information from Steve Holland it has been delayed because it is taking longer to clean up the artwork than they expected.
    I just hope some one gets the rights to publish the Garth set in the UK
    Regards Keith Ansell

  9. Afternoon,

    I was wondering if any gath enthusiasts can help me regarding a story. There was a story that I was following regarding pebbles being turned to powder. I beleive it was Prof Lumiere showing Garth's girlfriend how it was done. I have searched and searched for this story but to no avail. I would be so grateful if anyone can help me. Many thanks

    1. I vaguely remember that one — Garth had quite an adventure battling a 'man' from outer space who at one stage was stopped in his tracks by Prof Lumiere's 'gas gun'. But the second time it didn't work, the alien was prepared and had adapted—Garth (knowing that the alien couldn't handle water) took a suicidal flying leap and tackled the alien into deep water. The end ... not:
      the alien presented Garth to the Prof, (here I get very vague) as not dead; asking in bewilderment words to the effect "He knew he would die, yet still he did it—why?"
      And with his research complete, before leaving Earth he enhanced Lumiere's intelligence and added to Garth's great strength.
      Later a young lady asks a blushing/stammering Garth if it's true that he's the strongest man on earth he snaps off a half-inch solid steel bolt whilst groping behind for support ... proof positive.
      Your pebble?
      I vaguely remember that when Lumiere is suspiciously spying on the alien-in-his-human form (disguise) the alien/man absent-mindedly takes up a pebble and crushes it to powder with his bare hand. Lumiere bones Garth about it later and Garth admits "No way!" when Prof asks him if he could do it.

      Possibly a bit scrambled but that's how I remember reading it in the 'Overseas Daily Mirror' in (I think) the fifties.


    Above is a link for a new page I've created on facebook for Garth. Couldn't really find a place where all the info, links and updates could appear on so I created that.

    I've contacted Penguin books and they've said that it doesn't look like they will be reprinting the series as they said: "Unfortunately the publication of this series has been postponed indefinitely."

  11. It always astounded me that Marvel comics went to the trouble of creating Captain Britain, and had him look just like Garth, an already well established British Hero